Manchestair Which City Will Have the Cleanest Air?



The Clean Air Zone charges are coming to Greater Manchester in May this year, with many Mancunians and residents of the surrounding towns and suburbs not happy with the new restrictions.


Online petitions and campaigns have gathered pace, as people look to try and halt the changes at the very last gasp.


Any last minute changes look very unlikely, but taking a look around other cities in the UK provides some context as to why people from Greater Manchester aren’t best pleased…


Whilst trucks, buses, vans and private hire vehicles will all be subject to different daily charges in the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zones, drivers in Bradford won’t be charged anything at all just yet. This is due to the national shortage of non polluting vans and lorries.


That’s a national shortage though, and so many people are confused as to why Bradford drivers get away with it, and Manchester drivers don’t.


It could be because the Yorkshire air is already getting cleaner, and that’s certainly the case with Leeds, where no Clean Air Zones are planned due to improvements seen already in the cleanliness of the air.


Another bone of contention for drivers in Greater Manchester is the range of the charges, stretching many miles out of the city centre. In Sheffield, the charges are limited to just the city centre, and so yet again there’s an imbalance and inconsistency from one place to the next.


The benefits are obvious to everyone, as we can all agree that cleaner air is a common goal, but when there are so many different approaches, it will be really interesting to see just who ends up with the cleanest air, and at what cost that comes.


In Birmingham, some businesses have suffered with the charges, which affect private cars too, leaving many wondering if it will all be worth it in the end.


Of course, businesses will inevitably add the money on to their customers’ end bills, and so it’s consumers, as well as business owners who should sit up and take notice of the changes.


Whether you’re in London, Birmingham or Manchester, Clean Air Zone charges are coming in thick and fast. What difference they’ll make, good and bad, remains to be seen.


One thing is for certain though, the differences in the restrictions from one city to the next are foggier than the smog we’re trying to get rid of.

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